General News

16 June, 2024

Public fury over bridge revelations

REVELATIONS that the Barron River bridge could remain a single lane for 5-6 more years until a new structure can be built has raised the ire of the community who vented their frustrations across social media last week.

Some locals are pointing to the Fitzroy River crossing bridge, which was built in six months, as they question the estimated time to construct a new Barron River bridge as 5-6 years.
Some locals are pointing to the Fitzroy River crossing bridge, which was built in six months, as they question the estimated time to construct a new Barron River bridge as 5-6 years.

The Express revealed last week that the bridge may only allow single-lane traffic and trucks could be banned from using the bridge or have to operate under a permit system or with tonnage limits.

The Express also revealed that Member for Barron River Craig Crawford believes there is a need for an alternate route from the northern Tablelands to Cairns and that the government needs to identify that corridor and get on with making it happen.

Since the news broke, locals have vented their fury about the range road and the bridge, blaming government for not acting quicker and strongly criticising the decision to install the Intelligent Transport System that cost more than $30 million instead of spending the money on replacing the bridge.

Others have been quick to draw comparisons between the Fitzroy River crossing bridge that Western Australian authorities managed to get reconstructed in six months, and the estimated 5-6 year timeframe Queensland authorities say it will take to replace the Barron River bridge.

The Express story attracted more than 350 comments on its Facebook page featuring the articles on the bridge and alternate road.

“Labor blew over $40 million stuffing up the range by digging it to put in the speed signs, Intelligent Traffic System and over another $40 million building a cassowary overpass at Tully that even the conservationists say won’t work,” Max Dickenson wrote.

“And yet Crawford and Brisbane Labor sat on a report done 10 years ago telling them the bridge was in trouble.”

“Bring in the contractors that built the new Fitzroy River bridge bigger and better in under 12 months,” Nathaniel Stasse wrote.

“Don’t forget in the west they built a bridge in 11 months over the Fitzroy. I wonder where our Member for Cook is?” Locky Bensted commented.

“So glad they pissed away nearly $40m on the variable speed signs that ultimately contributed to destroying the range road while they had a 2015 report stating there was major concerns with the bridge. Thanks Crawford and Co for repeatedly defending that project,” Max Nulley wrote.

“Never mind just worrying about the bridge – what about the road down the range? Some zip ties and duct tape and it's good for another 30 years?” John Noack said.

“The entire road corridor needs to be replaced with something fit for purpose not patched up when it's many years past its use-by date. 

“Show some guts as our local member Mr Crawford and push for the ultimate long-term solution to our problem and don't be dictated to by the government of Brisbane.”

“Here’s an idea – let’s keep the $600 million the government is giving PNG to start a football team and build us a new bridge,” Robyn Merenda wrote.

“State and Federal governments are robbing FNQ. State Government takes our taxes and builds the great South-east new roads, tunnels and fancy train stations. We get a one lane goat’s track highway and a rickety old bridge. Federal Government takes from us and gives money to PNG and all the illegal boat people.”

“It’s one of the biggest disgraces of any government,” Robert Watkins said.

“Such a massive load of BS – the whole Kuranda range and bridge. Nothing has been done, it’s pathetic. 

“The traffic control people pressing buttons have hard hats on as well as tents over them. The bill for this will be more than the repairs. Actually, where are the local members on this why isn’t anything been done other than passing the buck. I think we should all protest and make a stance and stop taking this stuff.”


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